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Stovetop Mac and Cheese

This sauce appears thin at first but will thicken after it's tossed with the pasta. To reheat, add a little whole milk to restore the creamy consistency.

  • prep: 45 mins
    total time: 55 mins
  • servings: 6

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Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • Coarse salt
  • 4 cups whole milk
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 3/4 pound small shell pasta or elbow macaroni
  • 4 cups coarsely grated sharp yellow cheddar (3/4 pound)
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

Directions

  1. Step 1

    In a medium saucepan, melt butter over medium; add onion and cook until softened, about 4 minutes. Add flour and 1/2 teaspoon salt; cook, stirring frequently, until mixture is pale golden, has a slightly nutty aroma, and is the texture of cooked oatmeal, about 5 minutes.

  2. Step 2

    Whisking constantly, pour in 2 cups milk; add 2 more cups milk and cayenne and whisk until smooth. Cook mixture, stirring constantly along bottom of pan, until boiling, 6 to 7 minutes. Reduce heat to low. Simmer gently, stirring occasionally, until sauce thickens and does not feel grainy when a small amount is rubbed between two fingers, about 10 minutes.

  3. Step 3

    Meanwhile, in a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta until al dente; drain thoroughly and return to pot. Remove sauce from heat and let cool 10 minutes. Quickly whisk in cheese, mustard, and Worcestershire. Pour cheese sauce over pasta and stir to coat.

Source
Everyday Food, October 2009

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Reviews (11)

  • 25 Mar, 2012

    i was looking for something to replace the box that the little ones like. For me this just did not work. It was creamy but very bland and the dijon was overpowering.

  • 24 Feb, 2012

    This was quite nice. Perhaps not my all-time favourite mac and cheese...I think I missed baking it with a crumb topping. But it was very creamy and I liked the added flavour of the worcestershire, Dijon, and cayenne. I found the cooking times a bit off...there was no way I would have cooked the flour and butter for 5 min..more like one minute. And didnt' need as much time to simmer the sauce either.

  • 13 Sep, 2011

    My NEWall time favorite mac and cheese. I do not use Worcestershire and use a sharp English Cheddar from Costco. If you want the crunch, put it under the broiler before serving. Thanks Martha. Estee's Mom

  • 7 Oct, 2010

    This was a delicious recipe for a rainy day! I loved it with a little grated cheddar for a garnish :)

  • 20 Jul, 2010

    Very good but very thin sauce. I only used 2 cups of milk and that really helped. I wasn't sure how the mustard and worcestershire sauce would taste in a mac

  • 19 Jul, 2010

    I make this a lot, but instead of just using Cheddar, I go to the deli counter and ask for the cheese ends. I use a mixture of cheeses, and it always comes out great... although never comes out the same way twice. Saves a couple of bucks, too. And the kids really love it when we're lucky enough to get the stringy mozzarella or provolone :-)

  • 19 Jul, 2010

    I make this a lot, but instead of just using Cheddar, I go to the deli counter and ask for the cheese ends. I use a mixture of cheeses, and it always comes out great... although never comes out the same way twice. Saves a couple of bucks, too. And the kids really love it when we're lucky enough to get the stringy mozzarella or provolone :-)

  • 19 Jul, 2010

    How about adding a frozen package of squash to this mac and cheese to add more vegetables to your meal. It will add more yellow and it is absolutely delicious! Now one of my favorite comfort foods.

  • 14 Jun, 2010

    This was my first attempt at homemade Mac and Cheese and I thought it was yummy! I like like texture, since it is a cheese sauce. I've seen baked versions of Mac and cheese and they always look dry. I thought this tasted better the next day as leftovers which is always a plus for me! I didn't even use a fancy cheese... just a pre-shredded bag from the store and still tasted great and was smooth and creamy! Would probably be even better with a high quality cheese.

  • 14 May, 2010

    This is a FANTASTIC recipe. We have used other cheese blends, like feta, and oh man, let me tell you...

  • 17 Mar, 2010

    This is yummy as long as you use a good cheddar that has a high moisture content and melts really nice. I whisked in the cheese while it was on the burner and had no problem.